Good or bad—it’s true for many of us that we spend almost more waking hours at work than we do at home.
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Even if work is rewarding, we worry that we are not effective.
And here’s one of the worst things about this dilemma: We usually know that we may not be managing our work and career goals well.
Here’s a reminder guide to help you boost your intuitive understanding of how to manage more wisely your work, career, and relationships with colleagues and superiors.
Work and Career Checklist
1. Be “friendly to all, friends to none.”
No—this statement does not mean that you can’t socialize with colleagues.
But it does mean that wise workers do not get involved with work politics, cliques, gossip, or too much shared, personal information.
Create an invisible but warm protective shield around yourself.
Why? You never know about people’s ambitions, jealousies or changing power.
Don’t risk seeming to be on one side—only to find out that the opposition has become your boss!
2. Compliment and thank your co-workers—in front of others.
Always express appreciation. If possible, make sure others see you doing it.
This behavior is part of what’s called impression management.
You are in charge of you. But this management does not mean that you should become a fake.
But it does mean that you want to show qualities of caring and character that go a long way in promoting your success.
3. Let your reliability, knowledge, and team-playing shine.
Smart bosses and supervisors don’t just look for a job well-done.
They are also looking for someone whose personal and career ethics and values are visible and consistent.
How do you do that?
Here’s a quick list:
- Show up on time.
- Be prepared.
- Be organized—and keep a neat desk!
- Dress just a touch less casual—unless casual is also upper management’s style.
- Volunteer for assignments that are difficult or not so popular.
- Work well with others.
- Speak up only when you truly have something to say.
- Offer to work extra hours.
- Bring healthy food to share.
- Do friendly things with others such as go to the gym together or participate in work sports or celebrations for their family.
4. Tell your supervisors and/or boss of your accomplishments.
Just landed a great client? Discovered important information? Fixed something? Let them know!
- Keep a file of your successes—big and medium.
- Know your company’s style of communication: Emails? Stairwell or elevator chats? Newsletters? Whatever the style, use it to inform others. Be brief. Don’t exaggerate.
5. Take feedback and criticism well.
No one likes a cry-baby. And getting defensive doesn’t work well either.
Use these tips:
- Don’t interrupt.
- Don’t stand with your arms crossed.
- Don’t make faces. Get mindful of your tendency to pout, bite your lip, look away, scowl or shake your head.
- Offer solutions. Always “play it forward.” Bosses like resolutions and solutions—not excuses, defensiveness, and meekness.
- Apologize if the problem is your error.
6. Get active in the community!
Don’t be just work and home. Community exposure is so important to the image of the company where you work.
Here are four crucial tips:
- Know the history of charitable acts of your company. It will give you a good sense of what upper management values.
- Learn more about the causes and issues that your organization supports.
- Volunteer for the organizations.
- Initiate a program within the charity.
7. Act with interest in the success of the company where you work.
You are not just an employee. You are a caretaker of a company’s success.
So, acting on that concern will give you more credibility, recognition, and respect—and it might give you a promotion and a new position in the company.
Here is how you show your interest:
- Identify an important problem—without seeming to blame anyone.
- Write out some ways to solve it.
- Communicate it with your supervisors.
I wish you success.